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NFB Opens its Doors To the Public For First Time in 30 Years

Don’t miss this last chance to visit the NFB’s legendary headquarters before their big move to the Quartier des Spectacles in 2019.

L: The NFB building at 3155 Côte-de-Liesse Road from 1956-2019 © NFB. R: a model of the Balmoral building, NFB headquarters as of 2019 © Provencher-Roy.

MONTREAL -- The National Film Board of Canada is opening the doors to its headquarters and legendary studios at 3155 Côte-de-Liesse Road for the last time. Open House activities will be taking place on Sunday, September 30, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. as part of Journées de la culture, in collaboration with Héritage Montreal. In fall 2019, Canada’s public producer and distributor begins the next chapter in its history with the grand opening of its new headquarters in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles.

This Open House event offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the public to visit NFB headquarters. Opened in 1956, the building is one of the centers of Canadian and Quebec cinema -- the birthplace of films that continue to win awards around the world. All members of the public -- from cinephiles to casual movie-goers, young families and grandparents -- are invited to take part in entertaining and informative activities designed to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the NFB creative process. Discover how NFB filmmakers and artists go about making documentaries, animation, interactive and virtual reality works, and much more.

There are two different types of activities: a guided tour that runs about 90 minutes and special activities that visitors can sign up for on-site. These include a live demonstration of sound mixing with Luc Bourdon, director of last year’s acclaimed documentaryThe Devil’s Share, accompanied by his sound crew. Guests can choose to spend either the morning or the afternoon at the NFB. Cafeteria service with cold lunch will be available all day.

The NFB building at 3155 Côte-de-Liesse Road from 1956-2019 © NFB.

Open House at 3155 Côte-de-Liesse Road
A detailed schedule of the activities offered on Sunday, September 30 is available online at nfb.ca/open-house.

Guided tour:

  • Stock Footage and Photographs: An impressive collection that bears witness to how Canada and the world have changed.
  • Animation Studios: Watch director Patrick Bouchard (The Subject) as he live-animates a model, and see a fascinating range of animation techniques.
  • Collection Conservation Rooms: A treasure trove holding the NFB’s entire collection of nearly 14,000 works.
  • Documentary Studios: Film excerpts carefully chosen by the documentary team to show the past and present of documentary filmmaking at the NFB.
  • Chester Beachell Foley Studio: An impressive and live sound-effects recording session in which audio will be synced with images.
  • The NFB’s new downtown headquarters and public space: A sneak peek at Îlot Balmoral, the building the NFB will be moving into in 2019.

A model of the Balmoral building, NFB headquarters as of 2019 © Provencher-Roy.

Special activities (on-site, same-day registration required):

  • Interactive and virtual reality experiences: A thrilling selection of interactive and VR works that’s not to be missed!
  • Great animated shorts on the big screen: Some of our latest and best animated shorts, alongside one of our classics -- all by renowned auteurs who have contributed to the NFB’s stellar reputation for animation.
  • The art of sound in documentary: Live demonstration of sound mixing using a sequence from Luc Bourdon’s The Devil’s Share, featuring the director and his sound crew.
  • Guided tour of the building’s exterior with Héritage Montreal: Enjoy an outdoor tour of this federally classified heritage building -- home to the NFB since 1956. Rain or shine.

Did you know?

  • The NFB has more Oscar nominations than any other organization outside Hollywood: 74 nominations in 79 years, and counting.
  • In 2017–2018, NFB productions won a record 154 Canadian and international awards.
  • The great Ravi Shankar came to the NFB in 1957, to write and record music for Norman McLaren’s film A Chairy Tale.
  • Frank Zappa and his band, the Mothers of Invention, came here to record music for Robin Spry’s 1966 short film Ride for Your Life, live in studio.

NFB headquarters has quite a story, beginning with its first home in Ottawa in 1939, followed by the 1956 relocation to 3155 Côte-de-Liesse Road in Montreal (at the time a cutting-edge facility, and the only one of its kind north of Hollywood), to the upcoming fall 2019 move to the Balmoral building in the Quartier des Spectacles, which will include an enticing space that will be open to the public. To learn more, visit mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/nfbalmoral.

Source: National Film Board of Canada

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